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Suspicion In Kansas City

I remember that right after 9/11 we all were asked to remove our shoes when going through airport security. This is no longer the case. Still, some people continue to remove them, and at Kansas City International Airport (MCI), TSA screeners suggest that one might take off one’s shoes and send them through the x-ray machine together with the carry-on luggage. Mind you, they suggest this; it is not required. I never remove my shoes and they never trigger the screening gate metal detector I have to walk through.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been taken aside and searched at MCI security not fewer than four times. This has happened in different terminals and with different airlines. It has also happened without the screening gate metal detector being triggered. So what is going on? What does Kansas City know that security personnel in Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Washington/Dulles doesn’t care about?

First I thought that perhaps I would fit some undisclosed Kansas City profile of a pontential security risk. But more recently I have come around to thinking it might be the shoes. I overheard two security guards whisper to each other “shoes?” — “yes.”

If it is indeed my shoes that cause these searches, wouldn’t you think that the airport should make it mandatory that people take them off? If it is optional, passengers should not be inconvenienced for taking the option not to remove their shoes.

But then again, perhaps my searches were triggered by a completely different factor, like my seat number, the first letter of my last name, etc.

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2 Responses to “Suspicion In Kansas City”

  1. mac says:

    Since Sept. 11 I’ve flown in and out of at least a dozen different airports. I’ve had to take off my shoes and belt in almost every one. It seems to be mandatory…although I haven’t flown through Kansas.

  2. Michael says:

    Mac, just last week Wednesday I went through at Philadelphia and nobody asked me to remove my shoes.

    Actually, I don’t mind if they require it. If it helps security, fine with me. What seems (and the emphasis is on “seems”) to be going in MCI is that they don’t require it but then you’re suspect if you don’t take them off. Ahh, well. On to bigger things.

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